An unwritten Father's day card.
I haven’t cried since being diagnosed with cancer. Many tell me that I am strong or brave but denial would be closer to the truth. God is incredibly kind and any stability I have is by his grace alone. By his grace, we have been exceptionally looked after by friends and doctors and it has left little room for despair. As I look to the future there are so many uncertainties that fill my mind with questions but I am careful not to allow myself to dwell on the sadness that could be. There was, however, one moment of weakness where my strength began to wobble. I may not have sobbed but my eyes became wet, my breath became shallow and I was suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of responsibility, pressure and sadness.
I tried to choose a Father’s day card.
Standing towards a wall of cringe jokes, cute illustrations and overpriced cards, the pressure was too much. One of the assistants asked if I needed any help and I couldn’t reply. None of the cards were perfect, and they needed to be. I couldn’t shake the thought that this could be the last Father’s day card I wrote for Nathan, and therefore it needed to be one that could be saved for the next 50 years. Read and re-read until it was limp, creased and tear stained. It needed to be perfect, so much so that the picture alone would bring a smile full of warmth and knowing. They had a daddy bear card, but it pictured only one baby bear; the card with two baby bears had papa bear written - neither were perfect. It couldn’t be anything generic or cringe worthy, but the one with the perfect quote showed a little girl, not a boy. It’s silly really, and unnecessarily morbid, even more so since the card remains on my dresser unwritten. Since that day we have received a lot of positive news regarding the likely outcome of my cancer, but the right words remain difficult to find.
Today is our 4th wedding anniversary. To be honest, I think we might both have forgotten if it wasn’t for the cards that have arrived over the last couple of days. We wouldn’t ordinarily give each other presents for an anniversary but since a family day out appears to be a distant possibility I briefly scrolled through Amazon last night before deciding against buying anything. I know that I should at least write a card, a message or even a soppy Facebook post, but I am almost certain that any card I bought (or rather had someone else buy for me) would remain on the dresser alongside the unwritten Father’s day card from now, weeks ago. I know that nothing I write will ever be perfect. I am not perfect and neither is Nathan, so the idea that I could find a card that perfectly depicts us and all my thoughts and feelings was battle that Paperchase was always going to fail. Instead I’ll take this opportunity to say thank you for just a few of the things I am thankful for today.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for loving me when its hard to - when that difficulty is my fault and for when it is your own, or when those circumstances are far outside our control.
Thank you for loving our boys.
Thank you for climbing into bed with Teddy when he cries for you and for feeding him bread at 3am.
Thank you for not giving up with him when he needs you time and time again.
Thank you for letting Reuben sleep with his face pressed against you.
Thank you for the way you smile when he smiles at you.
Thank you for injecting me when I tell you I hate you for it.
Thank you buying me chocolate and wine whether spontaneous or asked for.
Thank you for loving me enough to tell me when I’m wrong.
Thank you for pointing me to Jesus and not yourself.
Thank you for letting me write soppy things even when you hate it.
I love you.